Healing Herb Infused Tallow Cream

As promised, I’ve finally found the time and space to both make another batch of herbal tallow cream, and take pictures and write up the process. This time around I was assisted by my enthusiastic helper Beatrix so photos of every step didn’t happen, and my measurements that I was trying to be SO precise with were all over the map. Like why did I even bother using my digital scale? I should have just hurled things in a pot and been done with it. But, even with the measurements not being super accurate, the cream came out great! So even if you kind of fudge things, or get distracted, this cream should turn out okay.

The great thing about this cream is that these herbs are all pretty gentle, and are considered safe for children (if you recall I made this for a young neighbor with psoriasis). Since Beatrix is OBSESSED with creams of all kinds, I feel okay about her slathering this one all over herself.

I took a bunch of process photos to make it easier to see what the different stages of freezing/whisking look like, but feel free to skip to the end of the post for the full recipe and ingredient list.

Dried calendula flowers

You’ll need olive oil, coconut oil, tallow and dried calendula, chamomile, and lavender. Toddler helper optional.

Herbs and oils in bain marie

Combine all ingredients in double boiler to melt solids and infuse the oils.

infusing oils with flowers

Infuse the oils for 20-30 minutes, or longer if you have more time and patience.

Straining herbs in coffee filter

Strain the oil into a small metal bowl.

Infused oil

Pop your strained oil into the freezer to begin firming up.

Take the oils out periodically to check on firmness. You can see it just beginning to harden up around the edges.

Take the oils out periodically to check on firmness. You can see it just beginning to harden up around the edges.

semi solid infused oils

As the oils firm up, you can start to whisk. Whisk just enough to blend and get everything incorporated – both liquid and firm and put back into the freezer.

semi solid oils

Keep repeating this process, pulling out of the freezer, whisking and putting back in. You can see it’s getting more creamy looking. Also you can see my feet.

solid oils

Really starting to get more creamy now.

solid oils becoming creamy

Getting closer! You can start to see the trails left from the whisk.

whipped body cream

Now we’re getting near the end. You can see that this is really starting to whip up into something more like a lotion.

Finished whipped lotion

Keep repeating this process until you get the consistency you want. This won’t be as fluffy as making body butters with a stand mixer, but I honestly found it easier.

finished cream in jar

You can see it isn’t as meringue-like as when I use the stand mixer, but I actually like this consistency better. Sometimes my other whipped body butters have been hard to spread.

finished cream

Put your cream in a pretty jar and celebrate with your helper! I know it looks like she was eating the cream, but I’m pretty sure it was yogurt.

Herbal Tallow Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 part dried chamomile
  • 1 part dried lavender
  • 1 part dried calendula
  • 3 parts olive oil
  • 1 part tallow
  • 1 part coconut oil

You’ll also need:

  • Double boiler or makeshift bain marie
  • Metal bowl
  • Whisk

Note that in my recipe 3 oz of olive oil ended up more like 3.25, 1 oz of tallow was more like 1.35, and so on. Beatrix was very enthusiastic about helping to add ingredients.

Process

  1. Measure out your dried flowers and set aside. You can totally eyeball this here as there was no magic to my method.
  2. Measure out olive oil, coconut oil and tallow and combine in a double boiler if you have one, or a makeshift one like I did by setting a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Add herbs to your oils and melt.
  4. Melt the oils slowly, stirring occasionally to break up the tallow and coconut oil. Continue heating for 20-30 minutes on very low heat to infuse the oils with the herbs. You don’t want things super hot, and you may want to turn off the heat all together if the water is boiling too furiously. You just want to gently infuse the oils. If you have the patience you can infuse for longer. I am not patient.
  5. When you’ve finished infusing, strain the oil through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a small metal bowl.
  6. Pop the bowl in the freezer checking every 15-20 minutes. As it begins to get semi-solid, start to whip by hand using a whisk.
  7. After whisking, put back in the freezer to firm up some more. Take it out and whisk a bit again. Keep repeating this process until you get a nice light fluffy cream.
  8. Plop it into small jars and enjoy!

The shelf life on this should be fairly good as there is no water involved, and the oils are pretty stable at room temp. I’ve used mine up quickly enough that it hasn’t been an issue. But definitely chuck it out if things get funky.

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